Colors of the Savolax infantry regiment

In the pictures above is an ensign carrying the colors of the Savolax infantry regiment. I painted the flag over a black-and-white printout with a scaled down image I found online. I must say I am very pleased with the result, as I have always found painting flags to be difficult. One thing I have found is that the flags really need highlighting to look good, that makes all the difference.

The yellow flag with the bow and arrow-motif was the “company”-flag. The first company of every regiment carried a white flag instead, the “life colors” (livfana). This flag sported a pretty elegant Swedish national (royal) emblem instead of the regional emblem on the company flags. In the top left hand corner there was a small Savolax emblem. In all other respects, the life colors were the same for all regiments, although they varied by pattern. With the 1766 pattern even the small regional emblem was removed, so that all life colors were exactly the same – an advantage for us modellers!

In 1808, several patterns of flags were in use. These had been issued at different dates during the 18th century, as detalied by Leif Törnquist (“Colours, Standards, Guidons and Uniforms, 1788–1815”, in Between the Imperial Eagles: Swedens Armed Forces during the Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars 1780–1820, ed. by Fred Sandstedt, Stockholm: Army Museum, 2000).

The flags were of two main types: on the one hand the old 1686 pattern and the newer 1766 pattern. The motifs were basically the same, but the 1766 version included a crowned golden frame instead of the laurel wreath on the 1686 pattern. Over time, the emblem also became smaller. I must say that from a modelling standpoint, the older (1686) pattern is visually more striking and also easier to paint, because the emblem is larger.

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